Joint EERI and GEER Advance Reconnaissance Team Traveling to Turkey

EERI continues to develop our response to the devastating February 6, 2023 M7.8 and M7.5 earthquakes affecting Turkey and Syria. Our thoughts remain with the victims, and with those of you among the membership who have family, friends, and colleagues in the region, as the relief and rescue work continues.

As more information about the scale and impacts has become available, it is increasingly clear that this is one of the most severe earthquake disasters in recent decades. The number of fatalities has risen to more than 22,000 (over 19,000 in Turkey and over 3,000 in Syria) and is expected to increase further. Tens of thousands of people are injured, and the number of people displaced is likely in the millions. In Turkey alone, 6,500 buildings are reported to have collapsed, while in Syria, the earthquake has compounded the difficulties facing a region already suffering from conflict and humanitarian crisis. Read on for more information about EERI's response.

GEER/EERI Advance Reconnaissance Team
A joint EERI and Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association (GEER) advance reconnaissance team will join colleagues from Turkey in the field early next week. The team will survey earthquake impacts on the ground to capture ephemeral data and inform future Learning From Earthquakes (LFE) reconnaissance efforts. Advance Team Members include Ayşe Hortacsu of the Applied Technology Council, Ayhan İrfanoğlu of Purdue University, Robb Moss of California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, and Özgür Kozacı of Mott MacDonald.

Share your Reconnaissance Plans
EERI is coordinating with several groups considering a reconnaissance response and will be scheduling coordination calls as needed to help share information between teams. If you are planning reconnaissance and would like to participate in these calls, please share information about your plans via this Google form.

Contribute to Virtual Reconnaissance Efforts
EERI's Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team (VERT) is collaborating with the Structural Extreme Events Reconnaissance (StEER) Network to develop a preliminary virtual reconnaissance report. To learn more and register to participate, visit the StEER activation page here.

Volunteer Opportunities
If you can volunteer over the weekend to support LFE in preparing resources for the reconnaissance team, have relevant information to share, or wish to be updated on other opportunities related to EERI’s response, please sign up via the Google form here.

EERI members who wish to become involved are also encouraged to join the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, the LFE Subcommittees on Public Health and Business Resilience, the World Housing Encyclopedia, or the School Earthquake Safety Initiative. Reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be directed to the co-chairs for each committee, or sign up to the PPA mailing list here.

Virtual Clearinghouse
EERI has established a virtual clearinghouse on the LFE website here, including links to World Housing Encyclopedia resources, reconnaissance reports from previous earthquakes in Turkey, and selected media reports. More information will be added there as our response develops.

Media Coverage
Due to the high level of media interest in this earthquake, EERI has also been fielding press inquiries and providing expert insight on the engineering topics to the media. EERI President David Cocke is quoted in this Los Angeles Times article and also appeared live on KNX News Radio. Northern California Chapter President Volkan Sevilgen was interviewed on TRT-World in English here as well as in Turkish-language media.

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